October 2003

Ex-police worker admits child porn charges

A former civilian worker at Brighton’s main police station has admitted downloading child porn pictures on to his home computer.

Richard Paine had hundreds of indecent images of young girls on the computer at his home, a court heard.

Most of them showed girls aged between six and 17 posing naked but some depicted them engaged in sex acts with other children or adults.

Paine, 30, worked in the data centre at John Street police station.

His job included passing information from the public to police officers for investigation.

Diane Chann, prosecuting, said officers seized personal computer equipment at the home Paine shares with his partner in Valley Road, Newhaven, on December 5 last year.

The indecent pictures were later found on the computer’s hard disk and an older disk stored in the loft.

Miss Chann said: “He would have gained some knowledge about the police investigation of downloading pornography as a result of his work.

“But there is no suggestion that he was accessing pornography while he was at the police station.”

Paine pleaded guilty to 17 offences of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Hove Crown Court for sentence today. He asked for 195 similar cases to be taken into consideration.

The court heard that 278 indecent pictures were found on his hard disk, although some had been overwritten with new images.

James Buchannan, defending, said Paine, who was of previous good character, had lost his job with Sussex Police but hoped to work for a financial services company in the future.

Mr Buchannan said: “He realises he needs treatment and his family is standing by him and supporting him on condition that he receives that treatment.”

Judge Charles Kemp made Paine the subject of a community rehabilitation order for three years, with a condition that he attends a sex offenders’ treatment programme during that time.

Paine was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years and to pay £500 towards prosecution costs.